dilly bread



Okay, so I’ve been kinda doing a lot of baking lately. 🙂

Recently I received a couple baking books which I have been itching to try, so, lo and behold, I give you…dilly bread.

I was looking through the book called The Amish Cook’s Baking Book, ooh-ing and ah-ing over all the gorgeous photographs and scrumptious, mouth-watering breads and pies and cookies, and glancing through the simple, yet profoundly touching and moving thoughts by the Amish women (and sometimes men) who have cooked and baked for their family for decades. Turning through all the glossy pages, each recipe more beautiful than the last, and after a long struggle to decide, I finally made up my mind.

The irresistible dilly bread beckoned me from the page. In other words, I couldn’t resist 🙂




I am eating one as we speak 😀

But, instead of bragging about it, now I’ll let you make some of your own.

Oh yes, and by the way, I did not have everything on hand, and I *alsomayhavejustalittleittybittybitkinda* tweaked it, haha. The stuff I tweaked I put it in bold.

Dilly Bread

the cast of characters

~ 1 package of active dry yeast

~ 1/4 cup warm water (or a little more)

~ 2 tbsp sugar

~ 1 tbsp dried onion flakes (or 1/2 tsp garlic flakes/powder)

~ 1 tbsp butter, softened

~ 1 tsp salt

~ 1 cup small-curd cottage cheese

~ 1 tbsp dry dill seed/weed

~ 1/4 tsp baking soda

~ 1 large egg

the outsider

~ 2 1/2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)

(It’s actually not that long of a list….it just looks like it :))

the plan

1) Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a large bowl Stir in everything except the outsider. Mix well. Then slowly add the flour, beating after each addition. After all the flour is added and stirred in, you may need to knead the dough with your hands to finish mixing the flour in. If it still looks too dry, or you’re having a hard time mixing in all the flour, like I did, just add a little more warm water, just a little bit.

2) Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

3) Punch down and shape into 12 rolls or 1 loaf. Since I did rolls, I just covered my hands in flour (and alot) and then grabbed a small chunk of the dough to form a roll, and then sprinkled flour on it so it didn’t stick to my fingers. Make sure it doesn’t stick to your hands, or else you’re gonna end up with a roll with a weird looking mohawk, haha, seriously though.

4) Grease a baking sheet for the rolls or a 5×9 inch loaf pan for the bread. Place the dough in the sheet or pan, cover with the damp cloth, and let rise again until light, about 30-40 minutes (but don’t punch them down ::grin::)

5) While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, 14-16 minutes for the rolls or about 45 minutes for the loaf. Remove them from the oven and brush the loaf/rolls with melted butter, and sprinkle a little bit of parsley and dill into the butter before brushing them.

….And voila! They should look something akin to this…




a forever kind of love…


What is true, deep, lasting, satisfying… love?

Every girl has this desire to love and be loved, to be swept off her feet, to be fought for and won and treasured by a handsome prince.

We can shrug it off or ignore it but no matter if we try to deny it….it’s true.

And it’s a God-given desire. Because just like woman was taken from the side of man, she longs to be restored to the side of man, where she was made to be, where she belongs.

So we grow up watching Disney Princess movies and Barbie and beg our mothers to, oh, please, read that story again and again about that pretty princess and the dragon and the true love’s first kiss.

But do we know, I mean, really, know what true love is? You know, the Christ-like, unconditional, never failing, all-consuming, forever…kind of love?

True love requires something that hard for all of us.


And this woman, named Robin, knew how to show that love to her husband.

Especially during a hard time early in their marriage.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/22961842″>Bret & Robin Graham</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/crtv”>Crossroads Christian Church</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

country style cherry tarts


{alteration: raspberry}

{alteration: raspberry}

This is seriously one of the BEST dessert recipes I ever have. The kind that your Grandma would give you in her best handwriting, old and faded by time’s unwearying touch, as you quietly slip it into the old family cookbook, and hold it to your chest to treasure it for years to come. The recipe that brings back the nostalgia of your childhood, coming inside from mud and play to see mom pulling them out of the oven, and inhaling deep that divine goodness that tickles your nose and seeps into your then young, curious mind, back in those days when it never took much to make you happy.

Who doesn’t want that kind of recipe, honestly?

So, behold, my dearest friend, I bestow upon thee the golden recipe that which shall rock thine world.

Not to be dramatic or anything ::grin, wink::

cherry tarts

the cast of characters

-> 1 large box of nilla wafers

-> 3 eggs

-> 1 tsp vanilla

-> 1 lb cream cheese

-> 1/2 cup (granulated) sugar

the outsiders-

-> canned/homemade pie filling (you can NEVER go wrong with cherry, but you can also use lemon, raspberry, blueberry, marionberry, etc.)

-> optional: whipped cream for garnish + for more sugar you don’t need, haha 😉

the plan

1) Put on a cute apron (if you are a girl, of course).

2) Preheat your oven to (*gasp* can you guess?!) 350 degrees F.

3) Line muffin tins with two cupcake liners each and center the nilla wafers on the bottom, like so…


DSCN7501 DSCN7502

Now, this is when you awaken that little perfectionist in you that I know you all have and make these gorgeous. This recipe does not require a whole lot of effort over all, so channel a little more effort into how these look. If you do it right, these will literally look like you bought them from a professional bakery or from Bakerella or something.

4) Mix the rest of the cast of characters together (but not the outsiders), until completely smooth. If there are any little lumps in it whatsoever, keep mixing. This is probably the one part of this recipe that takes the longest, maybe 15 or 20 minutes total. It doesn’t show very well in my pictures, but the color of the batter should have like an *almost* yellow-heavy-cream look.

Now, if you are indeed a girl after MY own heart you will NOT mix this by hand, please, no matter how pioneer-womanish you feel. PLEASE. I’m begging you from this side of the computer monitor. Unless you want to get a pretty good few-hour arm work out, please use a kitchen aid or an electric hand mixer (which is what I have). I guarantee you will get enough of a workout just by using the hand mixer.

Thank you very much. 🙂

4) Spoon mixture over the wafers, being careful to keep them centered, until the liners are 2/3 full. These tarts are going to rise quite a bit, so, DO NOT OVERFILL. You will be sorry, haha. And this takes practice, but try not to drip any of it onto the pan or on the cupcake liners, just because it looks prettier that way 😉

Now, after you’ve filled up the entire cupcake pan, grab the edges and tap it on the counter to release any little bubbles that might be trapped in there. You don’t have to do it for very long; just a few minutes is good enough.

{fill them about this high}

{fill them about this high}




5) Bake 15-20 minutes, but just remember the tarts do NOT have to be brown, but just *slightly* firm and a little springy to the touch.

6) Remove from the oven (without burning yourself), and cover immediately with a large spoonful of pie filling each. For the cherry ones, the best rule of thumb is two put about three cherries in each, or maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyybe four if there’s enough room, but just be sure not to cram them, okay?

7) Now at this point, please do NOT eat them yet, as tempting as it is. You must refrigerate them first for several hours, in order to taste them in their full glory.

8) Serve them cooled. Oh, yeah, and you can garnish them with the last, poor outsider, Mr. Whipped Cream, if you so desire, but I usually don’t use him at all.

9) Serve these jewels to your best friends or to those cranky people in your life. 🙂 Eat them. Enjoy them. Field marriage proposals as needed. If you have any questions, just let me know 🙂


awkward and awesome: moments from the new year (and a little before)



~  When you’re *so* afraid of spiders, you had to close your eyes anytime you saw the spiders in the new Hobbit movie. And you might’ve started shaking too.

~ When you have to go a day without coffee after you were up past 12 in the morning….and so you’re just like super tired the whole day.

~ When you and your cousin try to toast to the New Year, and try to take a drink of sparkling cider but you can’t because you keep looking at each other and start laughing too hard…so eventually you have to face away from each other just to be able to take one sip.

~ That time where you can’t decide if you’re too hot or too cold, so you keep putting your jacket on then taking it back off.

~ Trying to sing “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Housten…and let’s just say it doesn’t work very well, and a couple of dogs run out of the room. Ahem.

~ When everyone starts staring at you for no known reason.

~ Getting a a semi-expensive manicure and ruining it after only having it for three days, and when you try to salvage it by touching it up it looks even worse. And this might happen every single time you get your nails done.



~ Getting to see the Hobbit ::happy dance::

~ Having your sister over for Christmas!

~ Grandma’s food. Nothing beats it.

~ Homemade body scrubs. Like the ones I showed you.

~Work Out Update: *drum roll* I got up to 1000 (yes, one thousand) sit ups without stopping…whoa I still can’t believe it! 🙂

~ A great start to a new year 🙂

What’s awkward or awesome about your week?